Warren Field

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Warren Field
LocationOS NO7397396777
Coordinates57°03′41″N 2°25′51″W / 57.061295°N 2.430772°W / 57.061295; -2.430772Coordinates: 57°03′41″N 2°25′51″W / 57.061295°N 2.430772°W / 57.061295; -2.430772
TypeMesolithic site
Site notes
Excavation dates2004 onwards

Warren Field is the location of a mesolithic calendar monument built about 8,000 BCE.[1] It includes 12 pits believed to correlate with phases of the Moon and used as a lunar calendar.[1] It is considered to be the oldest lunar calendar yet found.[2][3][4] It is near Crathes Castle, in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland, in the United Kingdom. It was originally discovered from the air as anomalous terrain by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.[1] It was first excavated in 2004.

The pits align on the south east horizon and a prominent topographic point associated with sunrise on the midwinter solstice (thus providing an annual astronomical correction concerning the passage of time as indicated by the Moon, the asynchronous solar year and the associated seasons).[5] The Aberdeenshire time reckoner predates the Mesopotamian calendars by nearly 5,000 years.[5] It was also interpreted as a seasonal calendar because the local prehistoric communities, which relied on hunting migrating animals needed to carefully note the seasons to be prepared for a particular food source.[2] The Warren Field site is particularly significant for its very early date and the fact that it was created by hunter-gatherer peoples, rather than sedentary farmers usually associated with monument building.

Warren Field lunar calendar, illustration

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "'World's oldest calendar' discovered in Scottish field". BBC. 14 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The Beginning of Time?". University of Birmingham. 18 November 2019.
  3. ^ "'World's oldest calendar' discovered in Scottish field". BBC News. 2013.
  4. ^ "World's Oldest Calendar Discovered in U.K." Roff Smith, National Geographic. 15 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b V. Gaffney; et al. "Time and a Place: A luni-solar 'time-reckoner' from 8th millennium BC Scotland". Internet Archaeology. Retrieved 16 July 2013.